Anxiety Panic Attacks Panic Disorder

Anxiety, Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder – Part 4/6 Factors that contribute to the development of panic attacks and panic disorder

Factors that contribute to the development of panic attacks and panic disorder

There are many factors that contribute to the occurrence of panic attacks and the development of panic disorder. Some of these risk factors include;

  • Temperamental factors –such as negative affectivity (neuroticism), a person’s proneness to experience negative emotions, anxiety sensitivity or separation anxiety in childhood
  • Environmental factors –such as;
    • a history of sexual and physical abuse or other traumatic events
    • smoking
    • identifiable life stressors (interpersonal stress and stress related to physical wellbeing such as negative experiences with illicit or prescription drugs, disease or death in the family, separation from parents, childhood illness, divorce or the addition of a baby to the family)
    • family violence or alcohol abuse
  • Genetic and physiological factors– such as a genetic vulnerability towards anxiety or other mental health issues and family history of panic attacks or panic disorder
  • Intrapsychic and relationship issues (ambivalent attachment patterns, underlying psychic conflicts/defences, fears of loss or abandonment, conflicted feelings about autonomy, unexpressed anger towards loved ones

If you are experiencing any difficulties with anxiety, panic attacks or other mental health issues and would like help please contact Sherry-Lee Smith on 042 135 1020 or

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Mt Lawley Counselling Centre

13 Alvan St

Mt Lawley, Perth Western Australia 6050

Sherry-Lee Smith

Registered Psychologist